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Balancing the bulk for the backs: “While Hillis is one of the Browns’ best offensive weapons, it would be in their best interest to lighten up on his carries when possible, not only to keep him healthy, but to see what they have in Hardesty. Before Hillis burst onto the scene in 2010, and before Hardesty blew out his knee in that preseason, the rookie out of Tennessee was deemed a potential starter for the Browns. Developing that potential and operating a successful two-back rotation will do wonders for the Browns offense, paying bigger dividends later in the season.” [Steve DiMatteo/Dawg Pound Daily]
Zac Jackson and Pat McManamon go back and forth on the AFC North: “Colt McCoy is better right now. That’s probably based on his experience edge and his mobility, but to win one game right now take McCoy. In the long run, Dalton has a little better arm and certainly has a receiving corps, but the jury is very much out on both. More important, both franchises are depending pretty heavily on being right and making steady improvements with their situations.” [FoxSportsOhio]
Locking up the core of the Indians: “So what can the Indians do? Sure, they can try to make a move with the Marlins, now that Florida’s closer is…um, not who they thought he was, and try to find that RH bat by perhaps dangling Chris Perez to the Fish, who continue to be included on the lists of being “in” on the Pujols/Prince extravaganza (albeit with a heavy dose of skepticism), but the best they can do is hope to get the pieces lined up together every couple of years and take a shot at it.
And isn’t that what they’ve done…and what they’re currently doing?
As much as we hear about “windows” and read about how they are set up for 2012 contention and while everyone knows about the current “window”, what the Indians (or any team like them) need to do is identify a talented group of players, keep them under club control for as long as possible as a group, and hopefully get an extended playoff run (or two) out of that group of players. They did that from 2004 to the middle of 2009 and, while that group only made one playoff run, they’re doing it again, as evidenced by their breakout 2011 season, even if it ended prematurely.” [Paul Cousineau/The DiaTribe]
Examining the last rotation spot: “The battle for the Indians’ fifth starter’s job next year is already taking place this September. At the moment the first four pitchers in the starting rotation next year are expected to be right-handers Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez, Fausto Carmona, and Josh Tomlin. Assuming no significant moves are made this offseason the fifth starter’s job will be up for grabs next spring and the top four candidates to fill it will be right-handers Jeanmar Gomez, Zach McAllister, and Mitch Talbot and lefty David Huff.
At this point the two frontrunners for the job to start next season are Gomez and Huff, and right now both could not be pitching any differently.” [Tony Lastoria/Indians Prospect Insider]
Mary Kay with a piece on the tumultuous relationship between Colt McCoy and Brian Daboll, who returns lakeside today: “In his autobiography “Growing Up Colt” McCoy described coach Eric Mangini and Daboll “treating me like a leper” until they needed him to start last season. McCoy called himself the “forgotten man on the roster” and said all he could do during practice was “stand on the sidelines, toss a football from hand to hand, and observe.” During training camp this year, a source told yahoo.com that McCoy was not even given the offensive game plan last season until Wednesday, two days after Jake Delhomme and Wallace received it each week. Another source told The Plain Dealer that Daboll sometimes called McCoy choice names in his headset, ones that burned the ears of a committed Christian. Mangini, through an ESPN spokesman, declined to be interviewed, and Daboll was not permitted by the Dolphins to talk to Cleveland media.” [Mary Kay Cabot/The Plain Dealer]